What Does a Real Estate Ad Need to Achieve?
Thought I would talk about property ads this week, a popular topic among my colleagues currently as we enter the listing season. Many people feel that real estate ads often exaggerate the features of the properties advertised. Yet agents frequently report that when it’s their turn to sell, many vendors just can’t help wanting to ‘oversell’ their property by insisting that every feature of their home is highlighted in every ad, or by insisting on ‘four bedrooms’ rather than ‘three bedrooms and a study’. But what does a real estate ad really need to achieve?
There’s an important distinction that needs to be made: the ad is not the property. Furthermore it won’t sell the property by itself. A real estate ad has done its job if if makes people want to come and carry out an inspection. Then it’s up to the property to live up to the description if a sale is to be made. If purchasers feel disappointment that the property does not live up to expectation, they are unlikely to make an offer.
As such it is better to claim less for the property rather than more. Underselling works better than overselling. There should be a buildup of desire and excitement that reaches its peak by the time people set foot in the property. Purchasers should be delighted to find that the property is everything the ad said it was – and more. Purchasers are frequently buying a lifestyle and rather than listing all the features of the property, it is more effective to evoke the kind of life they might be able to live as owners of, and dwellers in, this particular home..
Secondly, too much information can actually make people decide not to inspect the property at all. To the inexperienced, this seems an unlikely situation. How could an ad that highlights the property’s desirability actually go against it in the long run? They don’t realise that potential purchasers may decide without seeing the house that it would not suit them. Some vendors think that purchasers who have already made up their minds against their property weren’t ever going to buy the property anyway, so it’s a good job they didn’t waste everyone’s time on an inspection. This approach is a short-sighted one, however, as it overlooks the very real potential for the house to sell to someone who falls in love with it even though it doesn’t outwardly meet all the criteria on their wish list, or had a feature they had decided they didn’t want.
Remember, most purchasers have to compromise on some features, and the home may meet their needs so well in some particular way that is special to them that they overlook the glaring lack or supply of something else they thought they needed.
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